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FINNAN: WE'LL BE READY FOR CHELSEA Jimmy Rice 16 August 2007
Steve Finnan insists he and his teammates will be more than ready for the showdown with Chelsea on Sunday despite a tough midweek game in the searing heat of Toulouse.
The Republic of Ireland international admits conditions during Wednesday's Champions League qualifier were some of the hardest he's ever played in. However, he believes the Liverpool squad can have no excuses when Jose Mourinho's men come to town. "It was one of the hottest games I've played in for a long time," Finnan told "There were some tired legs out there towards the end, it was a good work out for us. "Yes, we'll feel it on Thursday, but we're not playing until Sunday – that's one more day than we usually get, so we'll be fine by the time Chelsea comes around. They've played during midweek too, so there'll be no excuses." On the significance of this weekend's fixture, the right-back added: "It's such a long season, so we're not going to get carried away if we win, and by the same token it's not the end of the season if we lose. "But of course Sunday is massive. Everyone has been talking about getting a good start, and yes, we've got one win under our belts, but one win alone does not make a good start. We need to get as many points as we can in the first half a dozen games or so. "As well as that, Chelsea are one of our main rivals; we want to finish above them this season because they are a good team. "We can take a lot of confidence from the fact we beat them in the same fixture last year, and we've got more options all over the pitch now. We're at home, so we will try to attack them and win the game." Sunday's game will be the 16th meeting between the two sides in just over three years. With so much water under the bridge, a lot has been made of the rivalry between the two sets of players. However, Finnan insists it's nothing different to that between all the top clubs. "There is a lot of rivalry between the players, that's only natural, especially when we've played them as much as we have over recent seasons. But it's no different to when we play the likes of Manchester United or Everton." As for Liverpool's chances of progressing to the Champions League proper following the 1-0 victory over Toulouse, Finnan believes he and his teammates cannot afford to take anything for granted. "That was a really good result for us, especially considering they beat Lyon at home at the weekend. We got an away goal and a clean sheet, and that's what we would have hoped for before the match. "It puts us in a great position, but we can't take anything for granted. We've still got to finish the job at Anfield."



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